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Patent sleuth Theo DP writes, "Looks like Microsoft and Amazon may have some competition in the worst-Seattle-patent-ever contest." That's a tall latte, because when it comes to fatuous patents, Amazon.com and Microsoft have raised the bar very high. But he notes that this week two Starbucks patent applications seek to protect the electronic loyalty card. One, application ( #20050077350 ), aims to cover a "dual card", a combined credit card and electronic loyalty card for Starbucks own stores, for example. A second application ( #20050080672 ) by the same applicants seeks to protect the transactional system that exchanges data between the loyalty card and the credit card. Traditionally, the credit card cartel takes mandatory fees from vendors.
Creating customer loyalty Abstract A system for rewarding the loyalty of a payment cardholder comprises a dual card for facilitating credit transactions associated with a credit account and further facilitating stored value transactions associated with a stored value account.
Dual card Abstract A dual card, which facilitates payment for goods or services from either a credit account or a stored value account, operates on both an open network and a closed network. The dual card is a payment card that integrates the ability to provide credit privileges and stored value privileges to a cardholder of the dual card. The features, benefits, and advantages of a stored value card are integrated with the credit card aspects of the dual card.
Wireless communication system Abstract A processing system is described that includes a wireless communication interface that wirelessly communicates with one or more wireless client devices in the vicinity of an establishment.